Kodak V1073 Steve's Conclusion
The Kodak Easyshare V1073 is a compact head turner. The small black camera doesn't turn heads because of all the little shiny buttons on it, but because of its small size and lack of anything shiny. Everything on the camera is black, except for the lens, zoom controls (both a darker metal) and the flash. The camera sports a 3x optical zoom lens with optical image stabilization, smart capture mode, 10-megapixel imaging sensor, 1280x720 (720p) video mode at 30fps and a slew of pre-programmed scene modes to assist you in almost all shooting situations.
The main feature of this camera is the 3-inch, 230k pixel touch screen LCD and new navigation system that Kodak has incorporated. The ease of the navigation through the cameras settings and features is incredibly easy. This allows for the camera to only have 3 buttons on the back. These buttons take you to the playback mode (play button), allow you to enter the camera menus (menu button) and change the display information or find out about certain features of the camera ("I"nfo button). The screen is very nice to look at when you are inside and the touch screen works very well. However, when shooting outside in direct sunlight, the screen is very difficult to see even when you try to shield it from the light.
Performance from the V1073 is good for a compact model in its class. The only real problem is the buffer that only allows you to capture 3 images at a time. The startup was a little slow, taking 2.7 seconds to capture its first image (startup is default to smart shooting mode). The shutter lag, the delay between you pressing the shutter release and when the image is actually captured, is just 1/10 of a second when the camera is pre-focused and 4/10 of a second when allowing the auto-focus to work. In single shot mode, the camera can capture 3 images in 3.8 seconds without the flash, at which point the buffer fills and you have to wait for the camera to save the images. With the flash it takes 5.1 seconds for the 3 images. The camera also features a burst mode. In this mode you are not able to use the flash and again after just 3 images the buffer fills, however, it does allow you to capture 3 images in just 1.2 seconds. All of our tests were completed using an Ultra 150x 4GB SDHC memory card, program auto, ISO auto, flash off and all other settings at the factory defaults unless noted otherwise. Times may vary depending on lighting conditions, camera settings, media, etc.
The image quality of our outdoor images is good but not great. The camera produces very good exposures and realistic looking colors. The images are also crisp with very little edge softness. The 3x optical zoom with a 35mm equivalent of 37-111mm, is great for shooting landscape and portrait photography. The telephoto end is good for framing your shots and singling out individuals in group shots. The Optical Image Stabilization makes shooting handheld much easier. It allows you to shoot in lower light situations without camera shake when you need to shoot without the flash. The camera did produce some slight chromatic aberrations in high contrast areas, but for the most part were controlled very well. Noise did seem to be a little bit of a problem as you can see it the shadows of the door and the sky of our museum sample and in the sky of our firehouse shot at ISO 100 and 125.
The quality of our indoor images are also good. With an ISO of 200 or lower, the images are excellent and show very little noise, but from 400 and up, the noise really starts to show. The built in flash has a range of 2 to 13.5 ft. at ISO 400 does an excellent job of assisting in the exposure and white balance to produce a realistic looking image. It also did a great job of creating the realistic skin tones with a good exposure that are shown in the portrait sample on the samples page.
Movie quality from the V1073 was very good. With the ability of shooting in VGA, QVGA and HD, there is a shooting mode that is perfect for any situation. Our samples were taken in VGA HQ and HD HQ. Both produced very bright, crisp and well exposed videos. The camera also did an excellent job of picking up the sound of the subject even from a distance. When shooting in HD, there is some slight compression artifacting present. A very nice feature provided Kodak is the use of the 3x optical zoom while recording, giving you a little the option for a little more creativity and freedom while recording.
Powering the V1073 is a 3.7v 950mAh rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery. This battery was a little disappointing as it allowed for the capture of around 50 images, several videos and the completion of all of our tests on almost 2 full charges. The battery is charged in the camera, which can make keeping a second battery charged and on hand a little more difficult and tedious, or you could purchase the universal battery charger kit which allows you to charge a battery almost anywhere.
Bottom Line - The Kodak Easyshare V1073 is a very nice, compact, 10-megapixel digital camera. The optical image stabilization and 3" touch screen LCD are great new features that really make the camera stand out. The camera has good performance and quality, but the battery life is a bit of a drawback. The difficulty of seeing the LCD screen outside in bright light is another thing that needs to be addressed. At an MSRP of US$229.95 this camera is worthy of consideration.
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